Okay, book 3. This is the last summer before the girls go off to college, but of course they don’t spend it together because everybody has their own thing going on.
“How sad it was, Carmen thought, that you acted awful when you were desperately sad and hurt and wanted to be loved. How tragic then, the way everyone avoided you and tiptoed around you when you really needed them. Carmen knew this vicious predicament as well as anyone in the world. How bitter it felt when you acted badly to everyone and ended up hating yourself the most.”
In this particular installment, Lena’s grandmother has moved in with the family after the death of her grandfather. She’s depressed and angry and very Greek. Lena is fighting with her own father about taking figure drawing classes at Art School. He wants her to go into the restaurant business, like his own family, or at the very least get a “real job”. Tibby and Bryan are still friends, although she continues to try to push him away while he expresses that he loves her. Tibby loving Brian but pushing him away begins to become a bit of a theme of these books at this point. Bridget goes to soccer camp in Pennsylvania and runs into Eric, the boy she slept with him book number one. Now she’s in a much healthier place personally and they actually become friends. Again, I really enjoyed Bridget’s story-line here. She shows a lot of personal growth. Plus the soccer stuff is fun. And Carmen has just found out that her newly married mother is pregnant. Carmen feels replaced by this new baby who will come just as she leaves for college.
This “ramping up to college” book works pretty well, although Carmen (who I loved in book one) spends a lot of it berating herself for not being a good daughter, while continuing to not be a good daughter, which gets old after a while.